Breastfeeding a toddler is a whole new ball game. It is an emotional rollercoaster, more complicated, and sometimes more draining than nursing a baby. However, it is possibly more rewarding as well. The truth about breastfeeding a toddler is that you need to be prepared for so many new scenarios and be ready to defend your position of extended feeding, even though you should never have to.
Here are some truths that come with breastfeeding a toddler, which mums who have been through it know too well, and mums planning on extended breastfeeding should be prepared for!
10 Toddler Breastfeeding Truths
- You will need to wear easy-access clothing, even more so than what you did when breastfeeding a baby. Your toddler is determined and strong, and they will do what they can to get into your clothing for some milk!
- Toddlers are excitable and on the move, and while they love milk, they love being busy just as much. Be prepared for your little one to want to run and jump and laugh and talk, all while feeding! Get ready for some breastfeeding gymnastics.
- Be ready for the “you’re still breastfeeding?” reactions and questions. This can be when nursing in public, or even with family and friends. You don’t have to dignify a response, but you can point out that WHO recommends breastfeeding for 2 years.
- Your toddler will be so incredibly cute when breastfeeding. As they learn to talk and use their facial expressions, them asking for some boob and being so excited for it really is just the cutest thing around!
- As your little one learns to use their words and actions, be prepared for them shouting out for boob in the middle of the grocery store, and then diving down your shirt to have some. Toddlers don’t feel social embarrassment, but you might!
- Breastfeeding is a great way to avoid tantrums with toddlers. When you see a tantrum brewing, you need to work on a quick distraction to diffuse the situation. You need to calm your toddler, and breastfeeding works wonderfully to do this. It keeps them busy and helps to soothe them down.
- There is no better method to calm an upset or hurt toddler quite like some breastmilk. Yes, you could cuddle, sing or kiss your little one when they fall or hurt themselves, but breastfeeding is just the best way to calm a hurt toddler.
- No matter how many people try to convince you, your breastmilk will not turn to water after a year. The nutritional properties will change, but they change to better suit your growing toddler.
- Your toddler will not become more clingy if they breastfeed for longer. You wouldn’t want your 2-year-old to be overly independent anyways!
- Be ready for the exhausting journey of breastfeeding a toddler. They will probably want to feed every time you sit down, and after running around after a toddler, you will probably oblige just to get some quiet time. After all, it is incredibly rewarding and gives you extra bonding time with your precious child.